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The observatory is a typicall roll-off roof structure based on the plans provided by Backyard
Observatories, and adapted to better mesh with the local environment (metal roof and plastic siding
not terribly welcome).
I decided to build it primarily to avoid getting blinded by the street traffic and to reduce the
setup/packup time which limited me basically to week ends. Putting a dome in the yard was not an
option from an aesthetic point of vue, so the roll-off roof was the obvious choice.
The observatory measures 11' x 11' and was built in early 2007 over about 4 months, mostly single
handed but with the help of a few friends and family members at critical times. There was initially
plenty of room but with the installation of the Hyperion and shelving, the real estate is more limited.
Not that it matters much since most of the time, there is no one in the observatory as my main
activity is imaging. The main house beeing a scant 10 yards away, I decided against a warm room.
For those interested in the construction details, I tracked the project in a blog and the link is here.
Most of the northern and western horizons are up a slope covered with trees, limiting my availalble
skies to the east and south.
In August 2007, I motorized the roof using a gear track and winch motor, thanks to this website.
After adding a usb-based controller, limit switches and a bit of software, the roof motion can now be
controlled from a computer (local or remote).
Since that time, there have been additions to enabling a total remote control of the observatory.
They are detailed here in the Remote Control page.
In 2011, a weather monitor from Foster Systems was added which allows the control software to take
action during an imaging session if the clouds or rain decide to crash the party.